This feature article introduces the strategies on the design of highly efficient nanoparticle (NP) catalytic systems in ionic liquids (ILs). The employment of functional ILs as the media for NP preparation and catalysis could prove advantageous in terms of enhancing both NP stability and catalytic activity. Hydroxyl group functionalized ILs, in particular, exhibited a remarkable promotion effect on a variety of reactions catalyzed by NPs, such as hydrogenation over Rh NPs, hydrodehalogenation over Pt NPs and Suzuki reaction over Pd NPs. In some cases, tailor-made stabilizer is used in addition to keep the NPs sufficiently stable. For example, a carboxylic group modified polyvinylpyrrolidone endows NPs three-fold stabilization, including steric, electrostatic and ligand stabilizations, which leads to excellent stability of the NPs. The catalytic activities of these NPs, on the other hand, are not compromised, as each of these stabilizations is not too strong. Following that, the article describes our recent work on the rational design of bimetallic NPs in ILs and the development of multifunctional systems involving NPs for a tandem reaction sequence that convert lignin-derived phenolic compounds into fuels.